Owen, Carla

Carla Owen
Start date:
October 2015
Research Topic:
Literacy and Welsh: Identifying and Exploring the Markers of Literacy Difficulties in the Welsh Language
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Professor Enlli Thomas, Dr Nia Young
Supervising school:
School of Education,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

Children who receive their education in Wales will be exposed to 2 very different language structures: English (an opaque orthographic system) and Welsh (a transparent orthographic system). Due to the structure of the Welsh curriculum, children attending Welsh-medium schools are not being formally introduced to English until the end of the Foundation Phase at the age of 7. This poses a problem for children who experience literacy difficulties as the assessment tools are currently only available in English. As a consequence, children with literacy difficulties such as Dyslexia can only be formally identified once a child has produced ample pieces of work in English. This results in children potentially not receiving the support they need until a later stage in their education. This study will therefore explore the potential markers of literacy difficulties in the Welsh language. This information will then be used to create a screening tool for use by professionals working with Welsh-speaking children to help identify literacy difficulties at an earlier stage.